tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 28, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT
>> morning, folks. welcome. have a seat, please. we are here today to talk about how to not make a hash out of marijuana legalization. i promise you that is the last pun you will hear from me on this subject. it is very important subject. i am just going to say a few words to set this up. we probably have a great diversity of poins in this room about the future of marijuana in the state. it is no longer a question of whether marijuana is going to be legal in many parts of the united states it is a question of how it is going to be regulated, taxed, and controlled, if at all.
so today we have a great panel of folks who have come from literally all pants of the co y continent on ways to go forward in regulating marijuana. and i think without further ado, i will introduce paul glastris, editor of "washington monthly" who will introduce the west of the panel. so thank you very much. -- rest -- >> thank you joinning me. i am grateful to phillip longman. and i want to thank the new america foundation for >> hoshosting this event.
this event started off as a package of stories in the latest issue of the "washington monthly" called how to save marijuana legalization and the concept is that legalization is happening, we have grave fears about how it is going to rollout and so we published this package of stories that was anchored by mark kleiman, jonathan rauch, and today we will talk about that. mark kleiman is a professor of public policy in the ucla school of public affairs and a consultant to washington state and their legalization efforts. he is the author of "marijuana cost of abuse" and co author
of "drugs and what everybody needs to know" and he has work forkworked for the department of justice, the city of boston, harvard kennedy's school of government and blogs at the reality based community and monthly washington. mark, it is an honor to have you. and we have alison holcomb. she is the criminal justice director of the aclu. she served as a vice president for the washington association and sever served on king county board. and norml awarded her an award for belonging to an organization that is committed to ending the
prohibation. and we have susan rusche as well. she helped shape the drug prevention field under the nfia. they have helped lead the volunteer parent move drug movement and contribute to a 2/3 reduction in drug use among adolesce adolescents and a 500% drop among high school seniors. and battling cleanup we have jonathan rauch. he is the author of six books and many articles on public policy, culture and government and a expert in the field of
marijuana legalization. he is a contributing editor to the washington journal and he is the award recipient of the magazine world pulitzer prize award. i would like to welcome mark kleiman up first. >> thank you for setting this up and thank you for coming out. it is an honor to be part of this group. i am violating my religious tenets by having a power point but there is only one slide. when we talk about drug policy in general, and cannabis policy in particularly, both sides of the debate tend to cast positions in moralistic terms leading to a ratio of heat to
light. i want to suggest when we think about cannabis legalization we think of advantages and disadvantages. the beginning of wisdom in the building is to acknowledge both good and bad will happen as a result of cannabis reduction. 650,000 people a year won't be arrested. 40,000 people won't be behind bars. law breakers will not earn $40 million a year for illegal activity. state and federal governments will not spend a couple billion on enforcement. there is revenue to the state along the order of $20 billion a year. and 33 million people will not be on the wrong side of the law.
there is a gain in personal gain and welfare for those cannabis users without a drug problem. the disadvantage comes in the number of people that do have a drug problem. that is not a tiny number. 2-4 million would be a reasonable guess with the number of americans in the grip of substance disorder where the primary drug involved is cannabis. they account for a small fraction of cannabis users. there are 33 million people in a survey who say they have used cannabis. but they account for 90% of the cannabis salt. so they are central to the market and they will be central to the legal market as well. so we are worried about an increase in the number of those people and in the number of high school students, even middle school students now, who are using cannabis and having that
interfere with their education and personal developmendevelopm. very hard to believe that making a drug cheaper and more available that more people wouldn't use it. if you are a casual cannabis user on an adult income, the $2-$4 it cost you to get stoned is not a substantial part of your business. the doritos probably cost more. if you are smoking eight joints a day, which is extreme, but not the most extreme. then the price matters. so it is crucial to think in terms of price. so as we design cannabis legalization we ought to think about designing a form of
legalization that gets us the benefits of getting rid of prehibition with as little additional drug use as we can get. it is going to have some disadvantages. my claim is the alcohol model, private for-profit production with sales and unlimited marketing and regulations directed to keep kids from buying it directly from the stores. i want to claim it is unsatisfactory model for alcohol and equally for cannabis. i think that is the worse possible legal outcome. that is true because commercializati commercialization focuses the attention on the heavey users. so they will resist any form of regulation that will reduce the
growth in cannabis use. and they will resist anything that reduces cannabis use by minors since that is the future of the industry. the national cannabis association hired a perfectly straight forward lobbyist and we can expect that point of view is going to be heard. there are people in the cannabis legalization movement whose goal of having cannabis available to adults who want to use it responsible is consistent with the public interest in my view. but the cannabis lobby and industry has purposes that are inconsistent with the public's interest so it seems like a bad idea to let them take over. the current process of state-by-state legalization by an issue whether it is done sloply in colorado or carefully in washington, that process is likely to lead us to something
like the alcohol model. if we do that in enough states, when the congress gets around to legalizing, we will be locked into that model and i think that is the second-worst outcome compared to leaving the laws where they are. so my argument is we need federal action to structure state choice and we need it now. whether that is politically feasible, i will leave that to others that are wiser than us. it seems we need a presidential candidate in 2016 that says i am not against legalization, but i am against dumb legalization. i think the substance would be this: keep price from falling. i see no benefit of allowing to
fall below the current price. it is cheaper than beer already. i see lots of losses in terms of increase drug abuse and minors. we need to control the information flow. the marketing activity of the industry and prevention messages from government and non-profit and point of sale stuff you can require from vendors. how much training should somebody have to be a cannabis seller hasn't come up. should they look like a pharmacy doctor or a bartender? i think uruguay got it right. another thing is not to have
commercial retail. and the condition of sale from the wholesalers to retailers could be no marketing. something has to be done if we don't want a version of bud versus budlight on next year's super bowl. the other crucial factor seems to me is whether we give the consu consumeers the tools. we should acquire everybody that wants to be a cannabis user to sign up and set a personal quota. how much do you want to be allowed to buy every month? no limit on that. you can reset your limit as well but only on two-weeks notice. if you get to the store and you
have already bought your monthly quota the clerk says i cannot serve you until the 12th of next month. i don't know how many people that will save from walking down the sad path to substance abuse disorder. i cannot believe it won't save anybody and hard for me to see the harm it does. so that is one thing i would put on the table as a new idea and to anticipate questions i wioul want play that to alcohol and gamming as well. there is more to say but not enough time. thank you very much. [ applause ] good morning. thank you for being here. by way of a little disclosure in addition to the information that paul provided in my introduction i will let you know i was the primary author of washington
state initiative measure 502 and the campaign director for new approach washington that was the political committee that supported paz passage. so you can ask me details of the 64 page document because i wrote them. i would like to have the power point presentation back up. it is great to have something to refer to when you defend the corporate takeover of marijuana. i would like to begin with this observation. i think most of my comments will reflect my frain about what the conversation should be focused on which is not spending so much time focusing on supply-side strategy. i think that is one of the great failures of the war on general is we try to control the people supplying the commodity and not
enough time or resources on demand side strategy and on helping young people make healthy choices to not use marijuana or put it off until their brain's are fully developed. if we are talking about minimizing the harms of legalization it should be about delaying the use. if we can protect children and help them make smarter children about when to use any substance, we have won the game. once the children evolve into adults and are 21-25 in age, the risks of all of the harmful outcomes of any substance abuse demenish. in mark's power point, most i would agree with. i have questions. first with respect to the alcohol model, the fact that
alcohol use has actually fallen since it's hey day in the 1970's. about 20%. it has done that not with criminal prohibition strategy tobacco use has been cut in half. in washington state youth initiation of tobacco has been cut in half since we started investing funds in strategy. truth.com is a national example but localized prevention strategy that work. policy details do in fact matter. so let me talk to you a little about what initiative measure 502 does.
when we were drafting initiative measure 502 we met with experts and the treatment group is a nationalized treatment group that studies what works with prevention. and what we know about prevention programs now compared to 30 years ago is significantly different. 30 years ago, people said prevention doesn't work. just say no, doesn't work. showing images of an egg in a frying man doesn't work. we are talking about increasing investments in protective factors for children. that is not getting them information. in fact, it can be the opposite of that. the dare program failed. there were kids that never thought about taking drugs until the dare program taught them about drugs. it isn't necessarily true that
we want to get information to kids. we want effective preventive strategy funded and that is what initiative measure 502 does. we imposed a steep excise tax on it. tax policy is a way you can have an impact on the price. we have dedicated 80% of the excised tax to marijuana to prevention, treatment, research and evaluation. we are going to have an independent party conduct cost initiatives of initiative measure 502 because while we firmly believe and when i say we i mean the people that supported the passage, the public safety
outcomes of moving to a public health model are going to be positive, we want to be held accountable and take a measurement of that. that is what is missing from a lot of policies and that is policy review and the data need today make changes. this could look like keeping kids in school, supporting single mothers or fathers and making sure they are engaged with their children. it can look like a lot of different things. we should be very worried about anyone that is telling us that just getting out the message not to use marijuana is going to work. state level initiatives lead to bad outcomes. so i wrote it and supported it so i have to disagree with that. i would like to point out that
national policy around marijuana hasn't been terribgood. if you look at the history of the 1938 marijuana tax act where one scientific expert said they should not try to prohibit marijuana through a tax was ignored. i am not confidant congress is the right body to shape marijuana policy. i think there is a benefit, especially in the early stages, to allow different states to develop how they want to go forward. the truth is none of us know what will happen. we have lessons we should be looking at from alcohol and tobacco and we will have good data from washington state in the few years that will help inform choices going forward. i don't think we are ready for a national policy.
i am concerned when i think about the fact when president nixon was in office, 70% of national drug dollars went to prevention and treatment and only 30% to supply intervention. that ratio shifted and flipped. now we only spend 30% of treatment and 70% on things that are not working. i think it makes sense to let the states move forward and develop policies that focus on making children better choices rather than focusing on big marijuana. and that is the last comment i would like to leave: let's think about not making big marijuana a modelist. when you talk about big alcohol and you are trying to influence consumer choices you don't leave
them with options: big alcohol is bad. i am not going to stop buying alcohol so you are not helping me chose when i should give my dollars. what if you said did you know bud wiser is doing this and then a microbrew is doing this. we are talking about economic gain and reputational cost are significant. if i know who the better guys are, not necessarily the good guys, when it comes to buying a category of products, i will make that choice. and just as we saw in colorado where even though the prices went through the roof with the opening of the legal sorts because supply is so restricted, people are still queuing up because they want to buy legal marijuana. they want to pay taxes.
they want to do right by their communities. let's give consumers the option to do that. if we tell the consumer you are doing better with that consumer they will make that choice. incentvise socially acceptable capit capitalism. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much for inviting me to be here. i am going to add some of the same kind of thoughts you have heard from mark and alison but i am probably going to have a different opinion about what we ought to do. i think we need to agree with mark and alison that we need to look at the alcohol model and
look at the tobacco model as well and we can learn what might happen with marijuana if we understand what is happening with tobacco and alcohol. p people that support legalization say we should have an age limits. and i will tell you they are not enough to stop children from using. the national survey on drug use shows us 5-10 new smokers today are under age 18 and 8-10 new drinkers are under the age of 21. so having an age limit isn't enough. there are two powerful industries with quite a bit of money that are continuously marketing to kids and there are reasons to that which we will get to in a minute. to further exlimpify that point. this is all of the illegal drugs from the national survey on drug use and health, and if i can get
this to work, the pointer isn't going to work on this. what this is showing you is illegal drugs used over the lifespan. so the bars on the left are 12 year olds and on the right is 65 plus. in order to show you what happens with legal drug and the money they have to market and advertise to increase consumption we had to make this slide on a 70% scale so we can show you what happens when you have legal, addictive drugs that have money to market. the red bars are alcohol, again on the left is 12 year olds and on the right is 65 plus. the blue bars are tobacco and the green is marijuana. marijuana is quasi legal in 21 states. it is beginning to rise.
we expect the numbers to increase as tall as the red bars eventually. the tobacco and alcohol industries know the science as well as we do. and lifetime customers and children are key to their business. in 1998, we had the master settlement agreement of the tobacco industry that was sued by the state because the state realized they were putting out more money to treat tobacco related diseases through their medicare program than they were bringing in with taxes and sued the industry. the 1998, settlement revealed through the discovery process
how much the tobacco industry relied on getting children addicted. the ligget group said if you are not going to sell cigarettes to business you will be out of business in 30 years. laura lard said the base of the business is the high school' student. the tobacco industry tripped their advertising budget between 1998 and five years later. investing 70% of it's 15 billion a year on price discounts so the customers can afford our products; meaning children. the industry creates new products not regulated by there fda to attract children. this is one of many examples. so far cigars are not under the purview of fda and the industry
is developing cigars in many wonderful flavors attractive to children: strawberry, white grape, apple, etc. the alcohol industry does the same thing. each day, almost 5,000 kids under the age of 16 have their first drink of alcohol. will the commercial marijuana industry do the same thing? it already has. this is one of the products coming from colorado. dixie elixirs in colors and flavors. you have to ask yourself who are these products targeted, too. i will keep showing you pictures from the medical marijuana states as we go through the
slides. it is critical to understand the research and there is huge concensus shows that availability drives use. as the availability increases so will use, especially by youth, addiction, school failures, auto crashes, mental illness and other public health and safety problems. this is a marijuana infused chocolate chip cookie infused in the stores. we think there are three marijuana products. this is another product jolly ranchers and ice cream bars. the first is to adjust the current marijuana laws by replacing incarceration with assessment, treatment and using the laws to help people become
unaddi un-addicted. this charts a middle road between legalization and it is the best way of holding down the number of kids who engage in marijuana use. the marijuana use is confusing and taken us back to the pre-fda days where anybody can make a medicine and claim it can cure any kind of disease even though there is no scientific evidence to show that. colorado will not begin testing marijuana for contaminants until later this year and a group is trying to detect things in marijuana finding mold, mildew, pesticides and e. coli.
many are being diffused food foods and there is no control on whether this is good for you or not. recreational marijuana, we believe, national families in action, believe we should not do that because we cannot think of a single way that will prevent use from increasing particularly among children. if congress were to go there, we would call for a model based on the david kessler's model. he said after fighting to gain control of tobacco and loosing it he said my understanding of the administration powers rest with the bottom line, prohibiting the tobacco
companies to sell a deadly drug. he was trying to bring the industry to the end. if we apply the model to marijuana, we could prevent another from starting. it would make public health the center piece of marijuana control. it would charter a non-profit corporation and public health becomes key with non-profit. in my state, i am sorry to tell you we just passed the most extreme gun law in the nation. it was lobbied by the national rifle association that by buys a
lot of votes. use the money from sales to underwrite manufacture and distribution cost and all other revenues would fund enforcement, medical research, and programs to prevent youth use and evaluation to measure what is happening. marijuana would be tested for con c conta contaminants and would standardize thc levels. we will man all form of edibles and other processed forms such as lotions, creams and oils and waxes which are now testing out at 75% of thc or higher and people are beginning to overdose on the higher levels. not die but overdose and showing up in emergency rooms. ban all advertising and
marketing. package marijuana in child-proof containers and control distrubution and finally and i think most importantly clue an exit strategy to repeal legalization if use in problems become unsustainable. and one more slide, allowing a corporate take over of marijuana will result in unnecessary increases in deaths, school failures, mental illness and additional unnecessary public health and safety problems. now i am done. thank you. [ applause ]
>> thank you, everybody. thank you, paul. great to be here. i am jonathan rauch of the brookings institution. i hate to disagree with paul glastris, but one think i am not is a leading expert on marijuana policy. i am new to this debate. coming at it from the gay marriage debate and years of study of public policy in a lot of speaspears. and that brings disadvantages but it brings ad advantage in seeing the debate with fresh eyes. and among the debates i have explored this isn't one of the better managed. a lot of hype about what is going to happen. i think the best advise i heard from my niece who was three years old who said everybody please calm down.
the news is pretty good. i am in the middle of the panel and moderate outcomes are pretty reasonable to achieve. there is a lot of good news marijuana debate. a lot of reasons not to think our hair should be on fire. there is a growing concen sus for change and that is a good very good thing. another is that is extremely easy to improve on the current policy. almost anything you do is better than the current policy. eisenhower was asked what was done to contribute to the nixon administration and he famously replied if you give me a week, i
might think of something. if you give me a week i might think of something good we have now but i might not. good news number three: getting i im im implemenitation of this is difficult. you need to try different things and learn from them. that is the only way to figure it out. and that is what it appears we are going to do. that is not alarming. i think that is the only way forward in fact. finally something else makes this a bit easier. there are only two credible alternatives we can do and they are both understood. there are actually three models.
the most interesting model and maybe the best is a government monopoly on the distribution of marijuana. mark kleiman has proposed that. there is a lot to be said for that. uruguay is doing something similar but it is out of the question right now. and that leaves two models: decriminal ra decriminaleration is one, maryland is in the process. and the second is regulated decriminalization. these are not polar opposites. in fact they are similar. both involve very large regul
regulartory regimes and criminal sanctions. the main difference between decriminalization and regulated legalization is who does the distribution of marijuana. is that done on the black market or legally by commercial e enterpr enterprises. i am less scared of commercialization than a lot of people. i am concerned about it. but i would like to point out let's not forget that commercialization has significant advantages. one of those is that when big companies market stuff, you know their address. you know who to write to and legislate about if they start messing it up and that is important. having an addressable, responsible entity and big
corporations are pretty responsible when it comes to foll following law. we know where to find them and that is not true of the marijuana underground right now. i would also remind us that the illegal system is also pretty darn good at marketing especially to children. children try this stuff all of the time. we know that. in fact not only was the illegal system market to children, it uses children to market to children. something that even busch doesn't do. so there is no shortage of marketing and illegal commercialization that goes on with decriminalization. finally, i would argue that with commercialization you do have an alternative you don't with illegal marketing and that is regulation. and i would argue the models we
have are successful in the real world. one is industry self-regulation which is what the gambling industry does. one is a hybrid, some of both, which is what the alcohol industry does. the third is tobacco which i think is the one most like marijuana. in the gambling market, congress struck down a ban on gambling ads. and since then they set up their own conducts they ban promoting success from gambling or using symbols or famous people or
picture athletes or people too young to gamble. this is true when you turn on the television you don't see tons and tons of add -- ads -- get out and gamble unless it is done by the government. alcohol is a huge market. the idea you can repress marketing to anybody isn't going to happen. but labels are regulated by there alcohol tobacco tax board. they cannot put health claims. the industry is regulated by the beer and wine institute. they have guidelines and they restrict advertising to markets
that are 70% adult or more. in 2008, the ftc did a report and found more than 90% of ad impressions in the alcohol marketing were in fact meeting the 70% standard. there is flaws in this and that is not purpose. sports sponsorships are allowed. but this isn't a perfect world. remember, alcohol is more than one industry. if marijuana comes out looking more like wine and less like beer, for example, i think we would say that is a good outcome. and then you have tobacco. it is directly applicable to marijuana. it is drug and cannabis is a drug. in 2009, recent history, enough so we don't have to talk about the gridlock in congress being a
phenomenon and congress passed the tobacco act. the fda sets product standards and reviews all of the new products. it is interesting the markets advertising to children were not under the main regime. there are nine warnings that must be on the packages and on at least half of the package. no flavored alcohol, face-to-face alcohol and limits on design and color for advertising. there is a lawsuit on that bases. the sponsorship of sporting
events and is banned. claims of reduce harm like low and light are banned. font colors are limited to black and white and ingredients must be disclosed. and the fda has a center for tobacco that implements this. this reg lor tory system has done everything sue want done and as much as possible. when you legalize marijuana there is no way you can stop these guys from advertising this stuff and tobacco is here to prove otherwise. the supreme court upheld this act with the exception of the as-applied challenge. one of these is in dispute, one is applicable and one is in
place right now. it isn't to say we will get it right, but to say it isn't true to say we will get this wrong. [ applause ] >> thank you, john and panel. i would like to invite you up. and we'll open it up to you and i know i see faces here i know. and i want to make sure everybody can ask questions of the panel. our rur mikes on? i will move over. let me first say i am just delighted at the level of detail and expertise in this
discorrespondendiscourse. i learned a ton and i am more confused now which is also a good sign you have talked to experts. let me pose the first question, and i think we have among 3-4 panelist agreement that in theory if we are going to have legalization at all, the best way forward would be a government monopoly of the product. i know alison doesn't agree, but i sense that is something the three of you would agree with. we live in an era where the government can't -- public can't
imagine getting anything right. but if i go to kentucky, i have to go to a alcohol-controlled store. and that is only in montgomery. but this is something we have had in america for 70-80 years. since the end of prohibition. what is wrong with and why can't we have marijuana sold my governments through government stores, limited in the types of products it sells, no fruit flavored drinks or waxes and hand lotions, with a price that is set as mark said at least at the current price and a limit of no marketing. why wouldn't that solve the problem of making sure marijuana
is available for adults who want it? and why wouldn't that be the best way to restrict the inevitable increase in use. >> the government has lots of advantages. we have a treaty obligation in the way and i would say withdraw from the treaty. other than that, i don't see a downside of letting this be publically operated. >> let me follow up and ask: how do uuyou make that happen? mechanically how do you do that >> i want to disagree with the cheerfull tract comment. a lot of stuff we would like to
do lican't be done as long as t controlled substance act is in place. so the state-store option isn't available under the existing control act. once california legalizes it in 2016 which is almost certainly will, the prospect of rolling over the industry to retrofit a monopoly seems slim. if there is a bill that says any state wants to legalize can legalize it and it is legal by the federal government but only if it state wants it. i can imagine the cannabis legislators saying it isn't what i want. but it is better than now.
and i thought i could imagine people on the anti-drug saying it is better than what have. but i propose a bill that says you can legalize any state that wants to legalize under the following conditions and make that the national framework. not have the congress dictates what every state should do but may do. the current system of having cannab cannab cannabis quasi-legal in states isn't a good situation. it is a felony to handle an account for a marijuana business says the federal government but we'll not get you if you do that. this isn't satisfactory. we to do it legally if we are going to do it.
and state licenses to create federal felony isn't something we should be happy with. everybody in the business is at risk of president huckebee's general to indict them. it is crazy system >> alison, i would like your thoughts about this. >> i think we overestimate the benefit of the government monopoly. if we are talking about a government monopoly are we talking about stores? state stores? washington state is a government monopoly for liquor and we had state-operated stores but not for the products in the store. so if you have private entities
making the product they will market that. >> that is my proposal. if everything grower or processor of cannabis has to be a vendor to the state you can write the marketing restriction to the vendor agreement. >> we can have an argument first about the first amendment protection. there is no protection because it is illegal under federal a law. there is debate about state versus free speech and constitutional protection apply. but as long as marijuana is illeged under the federal law there is no protection. if you are talking about having the government produce the marijuana that is going to be sold, then you should be looking at places where that is happening like the united states which has a government monopoly on the marijuana that is
produced for medical and scientific research. i don't think it would be difficult for you to find the quality is not going to actually have an impact on the black market. i think that is true with canada's experiment of the government being involved and growing. you have to take into consideration if the public is satisfied with the product. if you are looking at the stores being the government monopoly you are talking about what are the impacts of the government retail. in the liquor store you are talking about making sure the clerks are not selling kid to minors, and if the alcohol is next to the wheaties in the grocery store and all of the
choices are made available in the public market. they are what we made in initiative measure 502. the stores are stand aalone stae stores and wrote into the law the policy that had to animate the choices was there had to be adequate availability to meet the market but not promote the market. so i just think that when we imagine that government control over marijuana is going to achieve something we cannot achieve through writing a better law we are not basing that on good data. >> let me pick up on that and go to something my friend jonathan rauch talked about and that is his sense that things are happening in a beneficial way as we do the state-by-state approach. and most people agree the way
washington regulated it's -- its -- marijuana market is as good as anyone has thought of. but what asssurance do we have other states will do this? in oregon there was a referendum to legalize marijuana and it would be controlled. and the voters of oregon almost build regular tory capture in the process but they didn't. colorado and washington are responsible. if you are looking to be assured
that states and legislator will do the right thing you are in the wrong place. you try stuff, and count on the good sense of the public to make kngood choices. i don't think we know if is better between a regulated market place and a government monopoly. i should congress passed a bill allowing regulated monopolies to be tried but unfortunately congress isn't going to do that. >> sue, your organization has maintained a position of being against legalization just as a matter of policy. it is your sense that the supporters of your position can -- you have also said if we are going to have legalization you want it tightly regulated.
i think the inevitability of marijuana legalization is not as strong as we might suspect and i will give you two examples. two states at the marijuana policy project concentrated on to legalize the session has rejected legalization maine and yesterday new hampshire. they new hampshire legislature voted down legislation after having approved it earlier in the session. i don't think it's such a done deal that we suspect. it may be more but done deal than i'm comfortable with but i'm not so sure that it is inevitable. >> here is what i'm thinking. unless somebody who doesn't like the idea of full scale commercial legalization is prepared to propose something short of that, if the opponents of legalization keep saying no, no, no, no, no than what we are going to get is the outcome model. i think all of the bells and whistles don't change the fact
that the natural legal price of cannabis is close to zero and even taxes on a percentage basis as they have in washington let alone in colorado that even a 40% tax, 20% of nothing is nothing and the difference is pennies. i don't see anything that's going to keep us from getting to supercheap cannabis and at that point. >> to interjections. tobacco is also very cheap at new york's taxes $6 a pack. many states are much lower and much too low but i don't understand why to give and that would go to the alcohol model and not the tobacco model. 80% do not want to see an open advertising market for marijuana and that's true even among those who gave her legalization so there's a strong consensus against marketing and for both of those reasons i don't accept this notion that once you legalize anywhere you are
suddenly going to be in a world where it's like lego market. >> in new york city which has the highest taxes somewhere between one third and 1/2 of all the cigarettes sold are smuggled not from leningrad but from virginia so estate to estate system with different levels of taxation is going to have the lowest tax states that the price bubble country because cannabis is much more small global than tobacco. an ounce of cannabis is $300. a pack of cigarettes weighs about one ounce in new york state has a hard time collecting $8 a pack so the notion that we can take a commodities natural price of zero and with a patchwork of state regulations keep it near its current $10 a-gram i think if it goes to $3 a-gram i think we are going to see a substantial increase in consumption even over and above what you get in availability.
i don't see anything on the agenda that's going to stop that and as enthusiastic as people are even the folks who are now voting against cannabis legalization and governor norquist tells him that higher taxes are bad, in colorado the republican legislature all of whom were against cannabis legalization when it came time to vote on taxation all voted for the lower tax excess taxes are bad. the reason if i were running a state system i wouldn't do it is taxation. i would do it as an option on production rights. it's not a tax. it gets you to the same place. sort of like a cannabis cap-and-trade but i just don't see any reason to think we are not currently on track to have very cheap cannabis and if it's very cheap it doesn't matter what kind of market it's in. >> i want to open up to the folks in the audience if you have some questions. and we have a microphone so
please this gentleman right here can start. state your name and your affiliation. there you go. affiliation if you got one. >> this is david orden would stop the drug war.org and the quantico newsletter. my question has to do with the idea that marijuana could be a substitute for the use of alcohol. people like me have tended to think that it is and people like like -- say we don't really know based on the evidence. maybe it's a substitute for some demographics and a complement and others. it turns out marijuana is more or less a substitute including the groups of people that are vulnerable. in that case cuday commercialized industry with
lower prices be a good thing as an indirect means of reducing alcohol abuse with its greater public health consequences? >> absolutely. the cross -- with alcohol is large and the cannabis legalization debate and it turns out to be a subject. it's been pointed out to me and i hadn't thought about this that is partly a question of pharmacological and sociological fact. so for example on the impaired driving question i would like to see a law that says if you test positive for cannabis you have a dac of zero, encouraged to people to think of cannabis and alcohol as separately and not together but look you are completely correct.
but let me flip it over. if it turns out there are in fact complements either simultaneously or overtime if getting habituated lychee to be a heavy drinker later in life if that's true or you prepared to reconsider your position that we should legalize cannabis? [inaudible] >> okay the lady in the very back there. >> thank you. good morning. my name is jasmine tyler from the oakland foundation. i've really appreciated this panel this morning that the one thing that has been missing is the conversation around the human cost of marijuana prohibition and the folding in of african-american and latino entrepreneurs into the corporatization of the new burgeoning marijuana industry so i wonder if you can talk about that a little any of the
panelists? >> i can talk about saying it's important. one of the places we differ is there a lot of where you look at 1/2 the equation and not the other and it's true that marijuana consumption is bad for children but it's also bad for children to have their dad in jail while they're growing up in having an arrest record of not being able to do their job so there are a lot of costs on both sides. >> i can talk we flee to the issue about engaging communities of color that have been impacted disproportionately so significantly by marijuana law enforcement in this opportunity to now build wealth in their communities, to actually be part of this new marketplace. in watching 10 state we worked hard in the rural mocking -- rulemaking process to have an impact on what the market would look like and also to provide
public education about how it could actually get involved in the market. my personal take on it is we did a really good job during the 1980s it demonizindemonizin g anybody that would think about going into this business especially with communities of color in the face of the war on drugs during the 1980s. there is even this level of shame and embarrassment to think that oh now i am not going to build a stereotype that we did in the war and drugs in 80s. we have in rows and are engaging with communities to say don't let this opportunity go by. those who suffer the most should have the opportunity to participate. let's let the people in communities that have been impacted the most by marijuana law enforcement have an opportunity to benefit from the new regulatory market.
>> i think the best advice i could give two entrepreneurs about the marijuana business stay the hell away from it. everybody thinks they are going to get rich in this business. i think the people running the venture are going to invest in everyone thinks he will sell it at $10 a-gram. a $3 a-gram you will be putting in $2 million to set up a store going to go broke so i would hate to see minority entrepreneurs get trapped the way minority homeowners got trapped into buying houses in 2006. >> i have to push back on that because somebody is going to and right now frankly it's all young white men that are getting into it and a lot of them are going to raise insurance but some of them are going to make money. we should have their community
members running the store. we should not have the white kids from the privileged neighborhoods going into the communiticommuniti s and selling them the substance. we should have the neighbors running these businesses. i completely disagree that minority entreprenentrepren eur should stay away from this business. we need to make sure it doesn't look like alcohol and tobacco were alcohol and tobacco have a history of going in and targeting minority communities and selling their products. you can't shape the industry unless you are at the table. >> i have another few and that is if we are completely honest with ourselves the drug problem is not why we have unequal enforcement of the laws. it's much broader than that and until we are willing to deal with that recognize it and change it i think we are missing the mark to say it's only the drug problem and shame on us. we need to change that.
>> is possible the people that make money at this ultimately will be anheuser-busch who buy up all the broke hippies in mendocino county and roll them into one giant marijuana company and they are the ones that start advertising on super bowls and so forth. or the tobacco industry, that's right. >> they are working on rolling up a small operators but the truth is we don't know what kind of marketplace that will shape intuitive. >> the question as you know what is the market? >> i am not, i guess i'm the only one that doesn't think the alcohol and tobacco companies need to be in this. i think they have negative brand equity for cannabis ventures and
involvement with the damage the equity with the consumers and existing products. i think we will have substantial business. depends partly on the regulatory barriers or branding barriers. this could wind up being like -- a commodity product not very expensive not very glamorous and not terribly profitable. i can imagine again unless there are regulatory barriers is hard for me to see how you can make big profits growing this stuff. >> right here this gentleman. >> hi. i'm steve fox with the national cannabis industry association a discipline that isn't corporate representation on this panel to talk about what we are actually doing. also as a co-author of foreign colorado and the idea that
colorado is sloppy, things are pretty tightly regulated and restrictions on packaging, labeling and taxes coming in everything going very well. my question actually follows up on what dave asked earlier and professor kleiman. you suggest that substitution would be a good thing and saying if it turns out the other way would you change a of mind about legalization? the question is why shouldn't the industry be able to advertise freely and market marijuana as a substitute for alcohol so that we can actually diminish local use in the country have people be encouraged to use marijuana instead inhabit public -- positive public health impact? >> if it were true that cannabis were a substitute for alcohol there would be an argument for having lower taxes to boost regulations on cannabis. at the moment there is precisely zero evidence of that and if in
cia wants to start ranting anti-booze ads i would be on their side. my understanding is that there've been discussions about us all being anti--- together and i expect the industry to do whatever make sit the most money and i expected not to be consistent. >> i would also like to address something that you said and that is colorado is not a tightly in regulated market. it's trying to be that but the colorado legalized medical marijuana and 2002 state reports that came out at the end of last year suggest the regulatory system is awful. so i'm going to have to follow you around when you go to conference with us to do reports.
>> you might want to remember the regulatory system right now in the legal states is also extremely bad as in much worse than colorado and washington. >> this gentleman right here. >> yeah. good morning. i don't have any particular affiliation. i would just like to pose a question to the entire panel and mr. kleiman in particular. i said we are running on the assumption that what we want to do with illegal market is to diminish the size and consequences of an illegal market. now i'm wondering if the extent that some of these suggest government would directly regulate through monopoly the business wouldn't have then create multiple incentives for there to be a black market running concurrently with the federal market for children and for people who might want to circumvent the registration" of regime that you suggest so i
would just put that question out there. >> it's a good question and let me slightly extend the answer if i may. let me distinguish between the short-run and long-run. in the long run washington has to compete with an illicit market in unregulated untaxed medical market and that puts an up or down on how tight the red red -- regulations will be. also it seems to me the premium on law enforcement, the day before you legalize a rest a marijuana dealer all you are doing is creating -- the day after you legalize you arrested illegal dealer you can push his customers hoarsely legal markets of paradox of glee the benefits against illegal production and sale go up with legalization. they don't go up for very long because after a couple of years that won't he and illegal one
anymore then there's there's a substantial moonshine whiskey market. there are lots of states as you pointed out with state source for alcohol. none of them have moonshine problems be your two alison's point people want a legal product. it's better and is cheaper and it's labeled any don't have to sneak around to get it so unless the legal market has big advantages the legal market is going to wipe it out but it will require a little help from law enforcement to get there. once you wipe out the illegal market can be more aggressive on taxation and the idea that we should ban the concentrates in the legal market at the moment would set up an illegal concentrate market. the only thing we have to admit and this goes along with sue's point there's not very much we can do to keep something that is available to adults away from kids. we can keep the state licensed stores from selling to kids and we do a pretty good job of that with alcohol.
that doesn't do very much to keep them from getting alcohol and in fact if minors are going to smoke cannabis which they are i would rather have them get processed and tested and labeled cannabis diverted from the state system than strictly illegal cannabis so i would work hard to keep it directly at the state stores and admit the fact that the market is going to happen. >> steve davenport has paper with msn i think it's going to be a very important document. >> the gentleman back here. >> thanks. i'm eric sterling. i wear a lot of different marijuana related hats but i want to say what a terrific panel this has been and how much i have learned from everybody and out excellent the discourse has been. my question is what are your
suggestions about what kinds of conversations family should have about marijuana use to discourage young people from using marijuana in either the current national discourse in the favor of it and post legalization environment? i'm on the montgomery county algol in drug abuse advisory council and we are struggling to figure out what we should be saying in schools and what should families be saying it be old is no longer valid? >> sued, do you want to? >> it sounds a good question coming to me. >> it's sure does. [laughter] >> i think it's important to understand that as the country accepts marijuana first as a medicine and more recently for recreational use into states that message coming to children is that it's a safe drug.
gee mom it's medicine. why can't i use that? i'm going to use it anyway. the question about alcohol and tobacco is the same of alcohol and marijuana and whether it's legal or not and any other addictive drug. you have to be honest with the children and you have to be certain, the research shows us you have to make a protective cocoon around your children and you set guidelines for which there are consequences if they are broken. that's the most effective way of family can protect children. the second most effective way is to get together with the other families, the other parents of your child's closest friends and make a larger cocoon for those children. we don't tolerate alcohol use. we don't tolerate marijuana use whether it's legal or not. we don't tolerate tobacco use for kids that are under age because it's not good for you. it will hurt your brain.
it will hurt your development and as long as you can get the peer group to reinforce that message for children you have your best chance at protecting them. but make no mistake legalizing marijuana gives the wrong message to kids and what we are seeing is increases in marijuana use since the discussion about that began in early 1990s. >> i discussed to call you on that. the reason the drug war failed in the early 90s was too many people criticized it and we should all be quiet or are accepting of it doesn't make sense? that is the status quo. i would love it if folks would recognize that. in terms of what to say about kids and not a parents i i don't really know. i look at it from a different position in which the zero tolerance position as productive because it teaches kids at this stuff must be magic.
i come from a jewish tradition where we have alcohol, very bad tasting alcohol. [laughter] every friday night his ford of of -- part of the family ritual one thing that does is familiarize the rub so the other kids are drinking up a storm. i'm not really sold on this zero tolerance don't discuss it message. >> i would like to add to that about the aspect of holding a cocoon around the messages are so important not only as zero tolerance to the dynamic but it's not probable and if we use credibility with their children we have lost it all. they are the ones the children are looking up to.
if you establish that relationship of trust and not thing and also expectations the expectation should be ones that respect the child's intelligence. the expectation should be i want you to wade in here is why. the other piece i want to ask and what both of you are saying is we ought to not hit ourselves ourselves -- we have to look at what is effective with tobacco which is not this is fairly focusing on the science of tobacco but focusing on what teenagers care about. this make cu -- and people won't have -- with you. and you know have the science there and have the truth but this is well. >> let me just say that your bad tasting wine on friday nights is quite a different scenario from
what kids face today. with alcohol where they are exposed to it by their friends and parents who allow them to have it and allow other people's children to come to their home and serve alcohol even though they are underage. that's the pressure you are finding and it is the same with marijuana. it's the same with any addictive drug. you have to set standards and you have to set guidelines and know until you have grown up is a good message in the science supports that. you are new so i will give you some science. >> the american jewish population in year one everybody has used alcohol and as it said used a very early in the prevalence of alcohol abuse disorders is relatively small in that population. there are other populations in the u.s. with much higher rates
of absence from alcohol and much higher rates of alcohol -- alcoholism so i think we should be focusing on not which substance they abuse but whether they lose control of their behavior. and the modern prevention science is all around self command not around specific -- if a family wants to say no alcohol until you are 21 that's a reasonable guideline. i don't think it's a only guideline and i'm not sure it's the best. >> we have five more minutes and i want to get some questions in. let's do three questions sort of the lightning round. this gentleman right here keep your question real short so we can can get mine. >> are there are two things i didn't hear from the panel that could focus on the industry of the home grow and market integration. colorado and washington have different views on that so i wanted to see what your opinion was in terms of the cost
benefits of that, pros and cons. >> a man on the far left there. speech is the follow up to the gentleman's question their. price and availability -- price and availability are only part of the equation. cigarettes for example are much cheaper and more available to children then erdogan and get fewer kids use cigarettes than marijuana and sort of related to that a lot of the concern of the corporate takeover in america seems to be disdained disdained towards the people of selling or want to. rather than artificially is the natural cost of marijuana zero then let it be zero and fought focus on demand production. there's every reason to believe that's a much more effective approach. >> this gentleman right here.
>> a few weeks ago -- banks could provide banking services to marijuana related distances and i was curious where you see that going in if you think that will have an impact moving away from a cash only business on legalization? >> okay so we have got homegrown we have god the possibility that lowering the price to zero won't be a bad thing and we have got the banking issue. we want to take those. okay ,-com,-com ma please. >> you are quite wrong about tobacco. in fact the single most effective prevention technique for kids is to raise the price of a can't afford it and all of the research shows us that. the more expensive it is that fewer children start or use. [inaudible] >> that's correct but that has
nothing to do with the price and taxes. >> homegrown would be an interesting alternative to commercial altogether. anybody can grow it and give it away like tomatoes. i think we are past that. the problem with home grow in a world where it's legal only in some states is home grow can be a cover for commercial production and it's very hard to get that under control. we will see what happens in colorado and washington give us contrast situations. we will see if the homegrown turns out to be a problem and if it doesn't i certainly have no objection to it. >> i will piggyback on homegrown. the reason they didn't have home grow in washington is because it didn't poll well. i don't think it's going to have that much of an impact.
we can home grow, we can homebrew beer and wine and we prefer the store. i don't think home grow has any affect on the market and i think home grow as a strategy for undermining the black market and this is the point the greatest concentration of demand is an urban environment where they are going to grow their own marijuana so you have to have the stores available. i don't think it will make that much impact. >> 10 seconds. >> it's a great idea that treasury is trying to get in the way. i think most banks won't accept it. all you need is some credit union and it will not be an all cash business and that's a good thing. >> we have a credit union going forward and i agree with mark it would take ever the problem problem. >> folks thank you very much. what a great panel. show your appreciation. thank you all for coming.
thank you new america and the c-span audience. goodbye now. [inaudible conversations] >> dear congress are names are shelley ortiz hannah hood and nine and we attended our school in phoenix arizona. throughout the years we have encountered a handful of friends that struggle with mental illnesses and throughout those years we have seen how a lack of support for treatment can result in a devastating event as well as an emotional distress for those individuals and their families. >> you when i look back on the incident that took place in tucson, the tragedy where i was shot and the congressman was shot and 17 other people were wounded and six people died the young man who did those
shootings and shot us have been displaying symptoms of mental illness for at least two years before that time. >> we have announced the winners of this your c-span student cam video competition on what's the most important issue congress should address this year? watch the top 21 winning video starting tuesday and every weekday throughout the month it's 6:50 a.m. on c-span and although winning documentaries on line at studentcam.org. on "washington journal" we talked to kristina lindborg
about heroin use in the u.s.. this is about half an hour. >> host: here is the cover story of the "christian science monitor" weekly. heroines long reach, suburbs confront the scored that road and behind a wave of prescription painkillers. kristina lindborg is the author and she joins us now from boston. ms. lindborg when did you get interested in why did you get interest is in this story? >> guest: interesting peter the way came about. actually it was last november i was covering a panel discussion. this was an for another news organization that has a lot of local newspaper so i was covering a panel discussion on a report because the mayor had called this meeting with all sorts of town officials, the chief of police, different people who were involved with the youth community services and
of things to talk about what had, to her attention with this problem of the heroin. we are finding needles in ann griz places like on the beaches and on the playgrounds. a woman had been found unconscious. she was experiencing an overdose in a public restroom so this was all of a sudden coming out in a town a city i should say, small city that never experienced anything like this before. it's a very affluent seaside community, a lot of tourists go there, has a rich maritime history so anyway i went to this meeting and i just was surprised because i lived in a neighboring town as well and i had never heard anything like this before. so i went back to my editor and i said you know i think this is
a bigger story than just covering one offense, one panel discussion about one town. i would like to pursue it and talk to a lot of the neighborineighbori ng towns. they said yeah sure, go for it so i did. it was amazing to me how consistently i heard the same stories especially from law enforcement ,-com,-com ma the same stories every time about the number of overdoses that they had to respond to and then the coupling of the heroin with the painkillers. it was never in isolation on that. so that was sort of the beginning of what became for that news organization. i did a three-part series and the "christian science monitor" asked me to do something and i was very grateful to be able to do it and have a more expanded view and broaden it beyond just my region but kind of take and a more national feel for it. >> host: kristina lindborg you have a charge in your article, heroin use in the u.s. showing
that it has you know gone up at least 30 or 35% in the past 10 years and both biyearly users and those that have used it in the past month. why this increase all of a sudden or why he now is there an increase in heroin use? >> guest: that's an interesting question peter. i don't think you can point to any one particular reason that there are some mitigating actors that seem to be undeniable and that is where the painkiller abuse comes in. let me go back a little bit here. if there is that experimentation or sometimes it's just following a prescription with the painkillers and these are really powerful opioids, so there isn't isn't -- there's a strong likelihood that once one goes
down that road their addiction is kind of a given in many situations. so if the pills aren't available and they become higher and higher price to get and that gets harder and harder than the cheaper route is to go with the heroin and that is what i tried to bring out of my story. it's not that people are necessarily actively seeking out heroin. it becomes just the easier route to go to after the pills aren't available and there's a dependency on them. >> host: and another thing you point out is the heroin of today is a lot purer and pretty accessible and cheap. >> guest: exactly, exactly and that has been leading to a lot of what many would say the problems of the overdose too because of -- years ago police officers years ago the kind of heroin that they would be
finding in there or rest or whatever would be two or 3% and now it's up to 80%. that means that people, a new audience now is finding it that heretofore would have had to inject it in order to get high. now they can snort it or smoke it and get the same high and then they get it to did and then they will inevitably start injecting. also because of that high concentration a lot of people who have gone through detox and have gotten off of it once they hit the street again if they have a relapse they take it. it's way too powerful and leads to an overdose. >> host: this article just appeared this morning. the state of massachusetts commonwealth has declared heroin addiction to help emergency. governor develop patrick declared it a health emergency
over the rise of opiate in heroin addiction and 140 people as died of the legit heroin overdoses just recently. >> i'm sure that's not just a singular event for massachusetts. i think many states are experiencing this. i think it's laudable that governor patrick has made that statement. i'm hoping we will be able to talk about it more in the course of the program that there are things that are being done. there are things that communities can do. there is now a growing awareness and that is the beginning of doing something about it. i think it's pointless for people to stand around clucking and feeling helpless and it's too big for them. there are a lot of things that communities can do and are doing you and i know that we can't just legislate these things away. there has to be a concerted effort along all different types of people who are willing to take responsibility not just in
addressinaddressin g the problem of the addiction that is present by preventing it for the future. >> host: kristina lindborg this tweet from kiki says people are using heroin to replace pain pills. some people have legitimate problems that the u.s. makes it impossible to get help. is there a shortage of treatment facilities? >> guest: you now that wasn't the only line of my inquiry but the people that i did talk to, i didn't get that feeling. i do think that there are for instance samhsa, i'm sorry it's an acronym for governmental agency. if you go to their web site they have a lot of different links there that can point you out to different agencies that can help out. even googling simply how do i
get help with addiction it will come up with tons of things. just looking at what we have available in massachusetts and a lot of the people that i spoke with were recovering addicts in various stages of recovery, you know they have gone that route. i think if you really want to find help you can and they do think that is one place where communities can pull together more and do something about that to make this more apparent for people who need help. i think there is an awful sense of stigma that people are burdened with, both families that have a loved one that is addictive and they are ashamed of it and they don't want to talk to people and often they are shunned by their friends. until and unless we can get over that and start an honest dialogue this is everybody's problem. this is and just somebody else's town or city or somebody else's kids. this is our problem and we have
to work on it together. that is the most positive thing that i was able to find when i spoke with people at different levels in trying to start coalitions in towns and trying to pull different towns together. as you know too it doesn't stop, it doesn't have a border or a boundary line. what goes on in your city or town whether you are left or right is bound to be their too. i think that's an important point to remember. >> we will put the phone numbers on the screen if you'd like to dial in and talk to kristina lindborg "christian science monitor" contributor. her article is our own heroin use in the united states. 202585 -- 585-3881 for those of you out west. you can also send a tweet at c-span and wj is our twitter handle.
estimated number of u.s. heroin users over a year up to 669,000 and 2012. lynn holly hansen asks via twitter kristina lindborg where does most of the heroin come from? >> guest: the drug enforcement agent that i spoke with said they mostly look to mexico and colombia. i can the thrust of my story of my inquiry i think it wasn't what i wanted to pursue with this. i really wanted to talk to the people that were most effective. >> who were one of the people that you talk to? >> guest: the interesting thing is a a lot of kids, i spoe with several kids at a recovery high school and there were probably seven or eight kids
that i talked to in the kids are very forthcoming. they are willing to share their experiences. not so much with adults but the kids that i spoke with i was reviewing my notes earlier. i was remembering that it was astounding to me most of them started something when they were 12. most studies say freshman year of high school is when most of that starts with these kids were all 12. they all have the same story. they started with drinking and/or smoking marijuana and that quickly led to the pills. for most of them, there were a few that hadn't gone into heroin but most of them that was the trail to heroin every single time. i think it also begs the question too the coast what one person that i spoke with who works at a youth center said we
actually have a huge problem now with legalizing marijuana for medical use. we are telling kids on one hands don't do this and this is bad and it can lead to other things and then there is that sense that it's medicine. that is what i have heard from a lot of doctors too. one specific doctor talked about the need for better education for doctors to have in terms of the opi -- opioid prescribing. they can't have -- i can't remember where i was going with this. there has to be that sense of what it is they are taking. it is not a medicine that is just taken lightly. i think that's the most important thing. >> host: kristina lindborg you report in your article more than
12 main americans report using prescription painkillers and 2010 without a prescription or just for the high that they cause. nearly three out of four drug overdose deaths are now caused by prescription painkillers inked 2008, some 14,800 deaths attributed to the pills more than cocaine and heroin combined in more than 475,000 emergency room visits were directly linked to prescription painkiller misuse or abuse in 2000. >> guest: that's right. what does that say? that's an interesting question. i'm going to throw that back to you. what is that say say about us as society? i don't know. that's certainly not a question that i can answer as a reporter. i can ask it and i can try to find the right people who might have given it some thought but
you know i think the numbers speak for themselves. >> host: american heroes tweets in to you kristina lindborg what is the treatment for heroin addiction? >> guest: you know i think it's a multistage thing. again i would urge whoever wanted to find out more to do that kind of research. my inquiry was talking more to people who were on the road to recovery. i do know that a lot of them had gone back and forth. it's definitely not easy. you need a lot of support from family and loved ones and friends. the community, that's where again i say it's really important that whoever is trying to make that road to recovery doesn't feel shunned in any way or isolated or needing to feel shame. it's something we make
unfortunate choices sometimes and everybody has to be supportive to help the community and the nation overcome this. >> host: two things you talk about specifically in your article. number when you talk about one family to spend 80,000 bucks that they were going to use to remodel but kitchen for their daughter's addiction and you talk about narcaine. >> guest: narcan is a stopgap measure when police respond to an overdose call. the ambulance people, i don't know if they go with the marco ahead of them or whatever but that's just administered to bring the overdose victim out of it. it doesn't last. i think within 40 minutes they have to get the overdose victim to the hospital right away. otherwise it will be reversed again. that is not a cure. that's just saving somebody from
dying at the time of. i'm sorry what was the other part of the question? >> host: you talk about one family in newburyport massachusetts has spent 80,000 bucks on a daughters rehab but they were were going to use to remodel their kitchen. >> guest: that's right. that is what it would take. it was when she was at that rehab and of course that was when they found out that she had been doing heroin. all along they had been assuming that it was pills and smoking marijuana. they were just floored. they had no idea. she came out of that and if i remember correctly there were still some ups and downs and it wasn't a fix as it were. so there has to be that understanding that it might take several times and it might not but i think more noteworthy is
the man that i spoke with in the article who started his own organization because he had gone through the whole ups and downs. he had been homeless and living in a garage because of heroin addiction and didn't want his family to have to bear that burden. so there is a way out. his way out is you can do something about it and it's not easy to do it alone certainly but there are people, a lot of people out there who are willing to help. if everybody's doing their part and i feel i am doing my part somehow by writing the story and you are doing your part by having me on the show, the people that are willing to talk to me you know they were doing their part because they really feel it's important to try to help other people who are going through this. >> host: jim is calling from loves park alumni. jim, please go ahead with your question. >> caller: my youth-oriented
business is located in rockford illinois right across from where the needle exchanges to be and it's interesting the year after the needle exchange was shut down by the city for code issues and other things my retail thefts dropped by 70%. the reason i'm calling though, i am involved in a lot of activities which take my business spending to music events. i don't think parents quite understand that there are a whole slew of other drugs out there and research chemicals that are being mixed with heroin because it's so cheap. we had ods that were happening at music events around the country from taking ecstasy or a refined quality of mali mixed with heroin. what we have happening also is
people are dying from other things mixed in with heroin. really what it was was amphetamine mixed with a depressant which of course you can imagine what that would do to someone's heart that the drug test only comes up as an opioid. i think we have a huge problem in this country. we have a huge culture where people will use these drugs and we have people selling the drugs to get people addicted to heroin when they don't know they are being addicted to heroin if you follow what i mean. >> absolutely. in fact the drug enforcement agent that i spoke with reiterated that. he said the people selling, they don't care, they don't care about the families and they don't care about the communities. they are just out to make a profit and unfortunately they do
the other thing i think it's important to add along with what you said is in terms of just marijuana now is no longer straightforward marijuana. it's often mixed with something as well. that kind of increases the likelihood of leading to other things. so that's a good point. >> host: you quote anthony pettigrew, drug enforcement administration agent as saying the perception used to be that heroin was mostly an urban problem, that now there are no geographic areas immune from heroin and this tweet from asks ms. kristina why is heroin addiction so high in the rural and suburban areas? >> guest: good question. i don't know why. i just know what law enforcement has told me and again from talking to police chiefs in
several towns they'll say the same thing. there was a time when you could almost identified a heroin user but now that's just not the case. it could be a wealthy high school kid. it could need a suburban housewife. it doesn't matter. a lot of that does go back to the prescription painkiller addiction. one of the police chief said that there is a very high number of functioning addicts because they can afford to maintain it so they are out there and you could be working with a heroin addict and you might not even know it. so it's no longer something that is identifiable as a universal problem. again this is everybody's problem and in order to have any kind of solution, about it's going to have to be everybody's responsibility to see what they can do to help create.
>> host: gavin in columbus, ohio. hi gavin. >> caller: hi. i would just like to say it's the most important issue you have brought up on the show today. i grew up in a suburban columbus and i watched -- foaming at the mouth. the kids out there if you see it don't y to yourself. you are just poisoning yourself. >> host: kristina lindborg in a response for the caller? >> guest: thank you for that. it's so true and i think it x. another question of that whole sense of if we were to talk about prevention and education ,-com,-com ma where does that started when? i can't start in high school. you can't just her talking to your kids in high school. by that time it's too late. they have already made their decisions about what they are going to do. these kinds of conversations have to start even before middle
school because you now as i said the kids that i have talked to started doing this when they were 12. i think it has to come from a lot of different sources and again the people that i talk to in youth services say the same thing. he can just come from one place. it has to be schools. it has to be the community. it has to be at home whether it's a church or synagogue or a mosque. it has to come from a lot of different sources. not just in my opinion drugs are bad but giving a positive sense of the value of what an individual has to offer to society. i think if kids start getting that sooner then when they have the temptation slater on they will probably look at it very differently. another thing that the agent pettigrew said was that you really have to talk to your kids about having their answer in
place because he feels almost every kid at some time or another is going to have somebody say to them and it's not going to be a stranger walking up to them on the street to do it whether it's smoke pot or take pills or whatever and they should have their answer in place whether it's an excuse like no, my parents wouldn't like it or gee i have to get up early tomorrow. whatever it is, have your answer in place so you can bypass that moment of whether you feel you will cave in because of peer pressure or whatever so that's an important point to matt. >> host: it's still easier for kids to steal op it's from their parent's bathroom then track down a drug killer for heroin. in your article in the "christian science monitor" you write experts trace the rise of painkiller misuse in the u.s. to
1996. what happened in 1996 kristina lindborg? >> guest: well in 96 that was when pharma released box accounts in which was a time release version of the oxycontin opiate and bad heretofore hadn't been prescribed for anything other than end-of-life situations. now this news time release thing from what i understand was touted as something that physicians could prescribed for moderate or chronic pain situations and they were very ill-advised to do that. it was totally a marketing campaign. during that time been a lot of things did get out. i don't think that explains why there is such a glut on the market now is there seems to be. more importantly i think the initial question or comment that
yes that is where kids mostly get their pills. if you don't know what's in your own medicine cabinet you might want to check it out. part of what a lot of the cities and towns are doing now in terms of forming these coalitions to address the problem is making sure that there is a drop box 24/7 at the police station, no questions asked. you have old pills hanging around or something you had been prescribed years ago and has just been sitting there, don't leave them there. it may not necessarily be your kids for your kids friends. you may have people coming to the house. i've heard stories about when people have open houses trying to sell a house that addicts will go when or maybe not even addicts with those who want to sell will go to medicine cabinets and take things. so don't leave things like that hanging around the house. take them to the police station to a drop-off spot and that's another small way that individuals can do their part.
.. got here from where she is talking about with my heroin and the children. what happened to me was my came up, you know, under a much more better society where opportunities were there. there were social programs to ,elp my children after school then,ce those were cut, you know, with the help from daycare my children got up into their teenager they had